By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Major changes underway in many, if not all, of the performing arts venues in South Florida.

The Broward Center and The Parker Playhouse, which are managed together, made it official this week that anyone attending will need to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID or a recent negative test result.

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“We’re excited because we found a really great way to proceed and make our full season of arts and entertainment happen and that is by implementing a policy that requires testing for admission to shows,” said Kelley Shanley, CEO and president of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. “Also, an alternate way around that and if you want to exempt yourself from the testing policy you can present your valid vaccination card as well.”

All guests will be required to wear face masks at all times.

Shanley said this decision came from listening to their medical advisors at Cleveland Clinic, listening to the artists themselves and more.

“We’ve also been monitoring feedback from our audiences and by and large, the vast majority of our audiences want to see a policy like this in place if they’re going to come out back out and enjoy theater and concerts in our venues,” Shanley explained. “The answer was pretty clear that this is the way that we can move forward under these conditions so we’re excited to be able to do it.”

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All of New York’s 41 Broadway theaters are mandating documentation of full vaccination before allowing indoor entry.  After a two-week break, Tuesday night “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” added a mask mandate to their vaccination policy that was already in place.

The Broward Center is first with this announcement in Florida, but Shanley said all the large venues will soon do the same.

“I’ve been speaking with the CEOs of other centers in Florida and all the major centers in Florida are going to come out with the same policy. Tampa did yesterday, Arsht Center is coming, Kravis is coming in as is Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando,” Shanley said. “We’re all going to have this type of policy. The reason why we’re trying to do this together is we’re trying to send a strong signal to the artists that you can come to Florida because we’re serious about being in a safe environment and moving forward with our seasons.”

Because of the new requirements, the theaters will be at full capacity.

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The first show for the season is at the reveal of the brand new, fully-renovated Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale September 22. For more info, go to www.browardcenter.org.

Lisa Petrillo